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Douglas County Historical Society

at Historic Fort Omaha
30th & Fort Streets

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Mailing Address

5730 N. 30 St, #11B Omaha, NE 68111

Phone: 402-455-9990
Fax: 402-453-9448
Email Director


General Crook House
Monday - Friday
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday - Sunday
1 to 4 p.m.

Contact us for rental information

Phone: 402-455-9990
Email Crook House

Library Archives
Monday - Friday
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturdays by Appointment

Phone: 402-455-9990
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February 5
My Dearest Julia: Love Letters from Early Douglas County
Exhibit Opening and Talk, 5:30 p.m.
Crook House Museum, Education Room

Join the Douglas County Historical Society as we celebrate Valentine’s Day with a very special program. We are pleased to present the exhibit My Dearest Julia: Love Letters from Early Douglas County. This collection of 30 very special love letters was written by Mr. Gurdon Wattles to Miss Julia Vance during the years 1917 and 1918. Mr. Wattles was the head of the Omaha and Council Bluffs Streetcar Company, was instrumental in the organization of the Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition of 1898 and was responsible for the construction of Omaha’s Fontenelle Hotel. Miss Vance was the head of the Department of Home Economics at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. They met while serving together on the F.F.A. (Federal Food Administration) for “Mr. Hoover” and were married on June 26, 1918 in Estes Park, Colorado.

To open this very special exhibit we will be having Eunice Levisay present a talk on the History of Valentines. Join us on Thursday, February 5 for our exhibit opening. The talk begins at 5:30 p.m. in the Education Room of the General Crook House Museum and admission is free for members and a $5 donation is requested of non-members. Reserve your space by calling 402-455-9990 ext. 101 or emailing

The exhibit will continue to be on display in the General Crook House Museum throughout the month of February.

February 8
Second Sunday Talk, 2:00 p.m.
Fort Omaha Campus Building 10, Room 110

DCHS’s monthly Second Sunday event will feature Sister Kathleen O’Brien of the Sisters of Mercy, one of Omaha’s leading charitable institutes, which just celebrated 150 years. Sister Kathleen O’Brien is the author of an expansive history of the organization, from its humble start with seven original Sisters who arrived in Omaha in 1864 to provide for the education of young Omahans. Soon the organization grew to assisting anyone in need, including the orphaned, the homeless, the hungry, the poor, and the ill.

This Second Sunday event will be held on February 8 at 2 pm at the Fort Omaha campus of Metro Community College in Building 10, Room 110. The event is free for members and $5 for non-members. Please call 402-455-9990 ext. 101 or email for reservations.

February 24
Page From Our Past, 5:30 p.m.
Library Archives Center

Douglas County Historical Society (DCHS) will feature author Mark Langan’s book Busting Bad Guys, My True Crime Stories of Bookies, Drug Dealers and Ladies of the Night at our February 24th Page from Our Past author event taking place from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the DCHS Library Archives Center. The program focuses on history-based authors, both of fiction and non-fiction. A Page from Our Past is a casual and intimate roundtable discussion, where the audience has the opportunity to get up close and personal with the authors. Each program concludes with a book signing and time to meet one-on-one with the featured author.

Mark Langan retired after a twenty-six-year career with the Omaha Police Department. In 1978 Mark was the youngest police officer ever hired on the Omaha Police Department at age eighteen. He worked as a uniformed officer and as a detective in the Burglary, Vice, and Narcotics Units. Mark was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 1988, working as a supervisor in the Narcotics Unit until his retirement in 2004.

In his gripping memoir, Sergeant Mark Langan relives his front-row seat working the seamier side of crime during his decorated twenty-six-year career from youngest rookie in 1978 to narcotics sergeant on the Omaha Police force. Busting Bad Guys delivers a graphic and authentic look at solid policing on the streets of America’s heartland and takes readers inside the high-adrenaline, top-secret investigations to develop innovative tactics to outsmart the criminals.

This book is currently available in our bookstore located in the General Crook House Museum. Participants who have registered to take part in the program receive a 5% discount off of the retail price of the books! Get your copy today! 

Cost to participate in these discussions is $5 for members and $10 for non-members. Pre-registration is required and seating will be limited to 20 participants. To register, email or call 402-455-9990, ext. 101.

February 26
Lunch and Learn, Noon
Library Archives Center

Architecture student Linda Williams will return for a second year with a discussion of Omaha-trained architect Cap Wigington, an African-American man who built several historic structures in Omaha and went on to be one of the defining architects in Minneapolis/St. Paul. Williams has led tours of Wigington’s buildings in Omaha, and will discuss his legacy and the buildings he left behind locally.

The event will be Thursday, February 26, 2014 at noon at Fort Omaha. A bag lunch will be available for pre-order. Call 402-455-9990 or email for more information.